AN appeal has been launched by police after thieves used a crowbar to break-in to an RSPCA charity shop, leaving staff ‘absolutely devastated’.

Officers have released CCTV footage of the crime at the store in Broadway in Accrington.

The RSPCA store in Accrington collects charitable donations to help support the centre RSPCA Lancashire East Animal Centre in Altham.

Steve Suttie, animal centre and branch administrator, said it was ‘devastating’ that people would target a store helping animals in need.

He said: “The charity shop is in quite a quiet area.

“It’s really disappointing to see, it is a number of volunteers who work in the shop.

“It is those people who get the most upset about it all.

“They are helping us run the charity and to help animals who are the most in need.

“It is absolutely devastating, how can anybody do something like that.”

Thieves entered through the back door with a crow bar and stole money from a charity box.

They then walked upstairs and searched the area, before prising open a locked cabinet door and stealing further cash which they emptied into a small holdall before making their escape.

This is the second time in 12 months the shop has been subject to a criminal attack after it suffered £1,000 of damage after havng its window smashed in earlier this year.

Staff said they would now have to pay additional costs to get the door fixed after it was broken in the break-in.

Police are now appealing for help to catch those involved after releasing footage of two men carrying out the theft on Thursday, September 21, at 10.45pm.

A spokesman for Hyndburn Police said: “We need your help to identify the two men who we want to speak to after a break-in at the RSPCA charity shop on Broadway in Accrington.

“Two unknown men approached the rear of the shop, prised open the back door with a crow bar and, once inside, opened a charity box stealing cash donated by members of the public.

“We really need to speak to the men shown in the CCTV about what happened so if you know them please get in contact.”

Anyone with information should contact 101 and quote crime reference number ED1715575 or incident number LC-20170922-0307.